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Off Topic :
Anyone an amazing vegetarian/vegan cook? Any suggestions for what’s for dinner?

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 Shehawk (original poster member #68741) posted at 9:01 PM on Monday, February 19th, 2024

So bf and I eat a bit differently. I am a pretty basic 1-3 ingredient kind of plant based cook. They like a lot of different ingredients. I used to live in a climate where I ate mostly raw fruits and salads. No drama or anything about these differences.

But we are thinking of making more "curries" or more interesting plant based Whole Foods kinds of meals. They want to eat more plant based meals. We are looking for some yummy spring time suggestions.

Also aside from things like rice and peas and beans and rice, "stir fry", and the occasional rice bowl with things in it, that’s about the extent of "vegetarian cooking" for me. They were used to more traditional American meals like meat and potatoes, but want to eat more vegetarian for healthier meals.

Any suggestions for weekday meals that are not super complicated?

We bought things like curry spices, coconut milk etc.

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

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annb ( member #22386) posted at 9:41 PM on Monday, February 19th, 2024

Following bc my DIL is vegan and it's always a conundrum when I am cooking for a large crowd. Or any other day for that matter! laugh

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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 1:57 AM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

My son works at a restaurant and they have musabaha (a chickpea and tahini dish) with smoked mushrooms they serve.

Another dish is butternut and delicata squash with toasted Walnuts and hot honey.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 3:19 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

I found the most delicious vegan chili and I've been making it every couple of weeks. If you Google "the best vegan chili feasting at home" it will pop up. Since you're a 2-3 ingredient cook, you may pull it up and be like NOPE, but seriously, it's SO EASY. The cinnamon is what makes it really pop.

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Another thing I love is this over pasta:

3 red/orange/yellow peppers, cut into thin strips

1-2 sweet onions, halved and sliced about 1/4" thick

Minced garlic

2 Tbsp Capers

Olive oil - about 1/4 cup

Soy sauce

Balsamic vinegar

Heat oil over medium/high heat then add peppers and onions. Saute until onions are translucent, then add garlic to taste. Cook for one minute; add capers, a glug of balsamic vinegar, a splash of soy sauce and let simmer for another minute or two. Voila! You could also add tomatoes and other veggies.

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I also like to roast a bunch of veggies and have them for dinner.

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Panzanella is another favorite. It's soooooo gooooood. Search "Panzanella Ina Garten"

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African peanut stew is really good, too, and easy.

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For lunch sometimes, I'll microwave-steam broccoli and eat it over ramen. I mix PB2 with sriracha and a little soy sauce and drizzle it on top. (You could use regular peanut butter if you're not trying to be calorie conscious.)

[This message edited by SacredSoul33 at 3:27 PM, Tuesday, February 20th]

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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 Shehawk (original poster member #68741) posted at 3:58 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Leafields
Googling those dishes !! Yumm

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

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 Shehawk (original poster member #68741) posted at 4:05 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Yumm sacredsoul. Thanks! I could go to 6 ingredients easily lol!
It’s not really a lack of kitchen skill or even being nervous about recipes so I think I can branch out a bit :)

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

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thisissogross ( member #30294) posted at 4:32 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Search 'coconut curried sweet potato and chickpea stew'

Search 'quinoa and black beans'

Both freeze really well and are stupid delicious for effort level.

[This message edited by thisissogross at 4:34 PM, Tuesday, February 20th]



i edit frequently because i have to

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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 5:27 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Thisissogross, I couldn't help but laugh when I read the thread title and saw your user name. laugh

Thanks for posting this Shehawk. I haven't had red meat and almost no dairy in a year and would like to eat more plant based but I am restricted due to digestive issues.

That chili recipe looks amazing. Unfortunately I can't eat beans but maybe I could modify the recipe.

I love spaghetti squash and use that instead of pasta.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 6:01 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

That chili recipe looks amazing. Unfortunately I can't eat beans but maybe I could modify the recipe.

I bet you could sub in more carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. (Now I want to try that!)

Last time I made it I added the ground walnuts. I don't think I'll do that again because it added a weird texture. Maybe I didn't grind them finely enough.

I'm going to make it my mission to try spaghetti squash this month. I'm such a child about new things, I swear. lol

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 6:13 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

I'm 58 and had spaghetti squash for the first time two years ago. I didn't even know how to make it. I love it!!!

Thanks for the chili sub suggestions!! I am going to try it!!!

I found a bean less chili made with turkey and sweet potatoes that is really good so I know the sweet potatoes work. I'm excited to try a meatless recipe!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 9:03 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

An easy soup recipe I make uses chicken stock, but you may be able to use veggie stock.

1 small onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
Shredded carrots (I usually be some julienned & throw in what I'm feeling)
Cauliflower
Salt & pepper
Any other seasonins
Chicken stock, 2 quarts
Shredded cheese

Saute the onion & celery until soft. Throw in the carrots, cauliflower & seasonings. Simmer until the cauliflower is done. Ladle into bowl & top with shredded cheese.

I've also added broccoli and diced butternut squash. I will add rosemary or thyme, or any other seasoning that I'm feeling. I adjust the amount of stock used to make sure the veggies are covered.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 9:36 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

My family is not vegetarian/vegan but I like cooking and we eat a lot of meat-free meals. I've never been someone who diets, and my strategy/approach to food has always been to eat more vegetables rather than to eat less of "X, Y, or Z" (whatever you consider to be bad) - and that seems to work pretty well for me. Some of my go tos:

Indian food generally works really well if you want to eat plant based. I like vegetable korma for an easy weekday meal (that can be pulled together with pantry staples and frozen vegetables if you haven't been able to make it to the grocery story. If you're okay with cheese, palak paneer is a really good way to up your spinach intake (I was super low iron in each of my pregnancies so this was something I made a point of doing).

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Soups are great for easy weekday meals and getting rid of leftovers- if you're okay with that for a spring meal.

One I tried recently that was really delicious (my young kids even liked it!) was roasted butternut squash and feta - just google a recipe. Obviously this is not vegan due to the feta, but it is vegetarian.

My husband's favourite is a blended curried carrot/red lentil one I do. I don't have a recipe for it as it evolved out of me trying to use up some ingredients we had on hand (as many of my meals do), but the ingredients are roughly:
- one onion
- several cloves of garlic (my use of garlic is extravagant by most people's standards so use your judgment as to how many)
- grated ginger (I keep mine in the freezer so i always have it on hand)
- 4-5 large carrots (or more - honestly whatever you have)
- a sweet potato or yam (totally optional)
- about a cup of red lentils
- 4-5 cups of soup stock
- various spices: I usually add garam masala, cumin, coriander, curry powder, and turmeric (red curry paste would also be good)
- 1 can coconut milk
This one freezes really well and tastes better days later. Like most soups it's really good with crusty bread. If I'm having company, I'll be "fancy" and serve with toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped fresh cilantro, and a greek yogurt drizzle, but that's not necessary.

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Life Affirming Nacho Dip - Oh She Glows - Should be available online. Roll your eyes at the title all you want (I did) but this is a staple meal in my house - my husband loves it too. And yes, I will absolutely justify eating nacho dip as a dinner if it's entirely plant based laugh . Whenever I make marinara/pasta sauce I always freeze some so it's ready to go for when I want to eat this. The recipe is very flexible so you can add quite a lot to it and it still tastes great.

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Cowboy Caviar is delicious and super easy to make for weekday dinner (and leftovers hold up well for lunch the next day). Essentially, if you haven't noticed, I love a meal I can eat on a chip.

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Thai noodle salad with peanut sauce, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and edamame is delicious and has great texture. It comes together pretty fast. Sometimes I'll add protein on top like crispy tofu - but i don't think it's necessary.

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Glory Bowls - Whitewater Cooks - I know this is available online so just google it. This one is a little more labour intensive for a weekday (for me at least) but I love making it for meal prep for weekdays as all the elements hold up separately in the fridge really well and you can just throw them together for lunch, pour the dressing in, shake, and boom - delicious.

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I am the queen of big grain salad, usually with some sort of bean in the mix for protein. Faro, Bulgar, and quinoa are my favourites. I am at the point now where I rarely use a recipe but the internet is not short on them.
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Do you follow any food-based instagram accounts? I find them to be useful for getting meal ideas. Erin Ireland is good for realistic plant-based recipes ideas.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 10:09 PM on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

I'm 58 and had spaghetti squash for the first time two years ago. I didn't even know how to make it. I love it!!!

I'm 55! This gives me hope! laugh Thank you!

Essentially, if you haven't noticed, I love a meal I can eat on a chip.

I do too. grin Cowboy Caviar is delish! For lunch today, I had fat free refried beans warmed with some salsa. Easy and yummy.

Oooh! I forgot! I have a really good Instant Pot recipe. I LOVE this stuff. It's got a cup of cheese in it, but you could totally leave that out. All it really does is thicken it. (Another yummy that's great with chips.)

Search "Instant Pot Mexican Rice Casserole twopeasandtheirpod"

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 5:48 PM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024

SacredSoul, I made the vegan chili you recommended!! It was easy to make and even with the modifications I had to make it was a five out of five!! I just made a second batch this morning.

Thanks for the suggestion.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 6:02 PM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024

Yay! I'm so pleased that you loved it as much as I do! grin

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 6:28 PM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024

You've inspired me to cook the spaghetti squash I bought last week. It's roasting now. grin

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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number4 ( member #62204) posted at 10:39 PM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024

New to this thread (not sure why I didn't see it when it started), and we are BIG believers in spaghetti squash.

Almost a year ago, I found a much easier way to prepare it that makes me want the hours back that I spent over the years trying to split the darned thing.

Instead of cutting it lengthwise, cut it width-wise. I take a carving knife, lay it across the width, and with a mallet, tap the knife down until the knife goes all the way through the squash. Then dig out the insides, rub a bit of EVOO on the inside, place the two halves cut side down on a wire pan grate, which I then place on a cookie sheet. Bake for however long needed depending on the size of the squash. I'm not kidding you, opening up the squash this way is magical. No need to cut it lengthwise.

So you could make this vegetarian by eliminating the meat, but when we make spaghetti squash, I mix the cooked spaghetti squash which I've scooped out in a bowl with about a lb. of cooked and drained turkey Italian sausage (I also add fresh garlic in the browning), a wheel of smoked gouda cheese (grated - I just throw mine in the food processor) and a jar of drained sun-dried tomatoes. I bake it at 350 until heated through - don't bake for too long because you want the squash to maintain its firmness. Sometimes I sprinkle some fresh parmesan on top. I cook it in a 9x12 pan that I've coated with oil, and it will make two meals for the two of us.

But yea, did I mention how amazed I was to learn this life-hack of cutting the squash differently??

Me: BWHim: WHMarried - 30+ yearsTwo adult daughters1st affair: 2005-20072nd-4th affairs: 2016-2017Many assessments/polygraph: no sex addictionStatus: R

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 10:58 PM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024

It was so hard to cut! I didn't realize that they were so firm.

I roasted it with EVOO and S&P. I might like it if I could mask the texture and taste with cheese, butter, or meat, but I took one bite and it was a resounding NOPE. I'm glad I tried it. I feel brave. laugh

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 1:26 AM on Wednesday, March 13th, 2024

"I'm glad I tried it. I feel brave." laugh laugh laugh

I'm sorry you didn't like it.

Number4, thanks for the cutting tip. Sometimes I put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to soften it which helps but the ends are still hard to cut through. I'm going to try your suggestion next time.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 12:50 PM on Sunday, May 5th, 2024

I know I am very late to this party, but I just wanted to add a few things. I have been Vegan for more than 20 years and couldn’t be happier with my decision.

You mentioned that someone you know wants to eat plant-based but is used to meat and potatoes. I really like the Beyond Meat, Impossible, and Gardein Products. I know some people avoid them because they think they are processed, but they are not nearly as processed as real meat Which is full of hormones, antibiotics, and every chemical that the animal has ever eaten. Since I’ve been vegan for so long, I don’t have them that Often, however, they do make easy substitutes and are quite delicious.

I recommend two really good websites:
Feasting at home
Sam Turnbull-It doesn’t taste like chicken

I’m looking forward to trying that chilli recipe that was offered and cutting my spaghetti squash in an easier way. Good luck with your plant eating. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my health and my ethics.

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Topic is Sleeping.
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